Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) is also known as Dwarf Dogwood. When you look at the flower you can see why. I’ve seen Bunchberry in Newfoundland and Coastal BC. It also ranges from Alaska to New Mexico. That’s a pretty wide distribution.
Bunchberry likes moist conditions such as forest floors, meadows, bogs, and rotting logs and stumps. I found my example on an overgrown logging road near a cut caused by winter rains and spring runoff.
It’s a perennial low growing plant that creates extensive and dense mats. Four to seven green leaves are arranged in a circular cluster and remain mainly evergreen. In the middle is a flower surrounded by four white bracts (modified leaves).
In late summer, the flowers mature into clusters of bright red berry-like fruits, hence the common name. They are edible, but tend to be mealy and bitter. But that doesn’t deter grouse. They eat them in great quantities. -- Margy